Current Environment:

The Center for Airway Disorders (CAD) at Boston Children's Hospital cares for infants, children, and young adults with laryngeal cleft — a gap between the esophagus and the larynx (voice box). The Laryngeal Cleft Program is part of the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement, also referred to as the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Department. It is the oldest, largest, and one of the most recognized centers for pediatric otolaryngology in the United States.

We work to make sure that both new and returning patients are seen quickly by our medical team and receive any other necessary services from specialists in any department at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Laryngeal Cleft Program at Boston Children’s Hospital

Our laryngeal cleft treatments include the most effective surgical and non-surgical approaches available, helping children born with a laryngeal cleft to breath, eat, and swallow normally.

Strengths of our clinic include:

  • Minimally invasive treatments: The majority of our patients have their laryngeal clefts repaired using endoscopic techniques. These techniques typically involve the use of the CO2 laser, direct laryngoscopy/bronchoscopy, and suturing using endoscopic technique.
  • Unmatched expertise: Our surgical team has diagnosed more than 200 laryngeal clefts and performed more than 200 minimally invasive laryngeal cleft repairs. Our surgeons have written extensively on the medical and surgical management of laryngeal clefts.
  • Comprehensive care: No matter what type of cleft your child has, our team will draw from the extraordinary range of specialties offered here at Boston Children’s to ensure prompt and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.
  • Team approach: Our team collaborates daily with dozens of doctors and specialists throughout the hospital to care for patients in our clinic. The Laryngeal Cleft Clinic works closely with the Feeding and Swallowing Program.

Non-surgical treatment of laryngeal cleft

Our team works closely with other specialties to manage laryngeal clefts medically (without surgery). Our doctors work closely with the feeding and swallowing team to provide the most advanced testing available and to customize a feeding trial that ensures your child is able to eat and swallow safely and comfortably.

Our doctors also work with other specialties to treat other conditions that your child may be experiencing, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), reactive airway disease, or a food allergy. These different treatments can help improve airway edema/irritation, which in turn may help swallowing function.

Surgical treatments for laryngeal cleft

Patients with a type I cleft for whom medical management strategies have not been successful will likely need surgical repair. Patients with a type II, III, or IV laryngeal cleft will require a surgical repair, due to the severity of the disorder. After surgery, your child will continue to receive comprehensive follow-up care in our clinic.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment or speak with a member of our team, please call 617-355-3795.

International patients

If you live outside of the United States, please contact Boston Children's Global Services, which facilitates the medical review of patient records and appointment scheduling and provides assistance with customs and immigration, transportation, and hotel and housing accommodations.